Just What They Want

With these can't-miss toys, pleasing picky kids will be child's play.

Focus On Toys

November 30, 2003|By Peter Jensen | Peter Jensen,Sun Staff

Between the cold weather and the seasonal hours, it's tough being Santa, but nothing frosts the big guy more than those tough-to-buy-for kids.

You know the kind. Sure, they're nice enough, but maybe you're looking at a boy or girl who already owns a store's worth of toys. Or just likes action figures. Or Barbie. Or is just hard to please.

Not to fret. Here are ten of the hottest toys going this season -- virtually guaranteed, can't-miss hits for those challenging kids.

For the grandparents' favorite

Powertouch Learning System

* $49.99. Fisher-Price. Ages 3-8.

Touch a word in this electronic book and hear it aloud (fun but educational toys always get Grandma's seal of approval).

For the toddler on the fast track

Peek-A-Blocks 2-in-1 Activity Wagon

* $34.99. Fisher-Price. Ages 6 months and up.

Why settle for mere blocks when the future president in the family could have blocks that light up and play music, too?

For that little genius

Motor Movers

* $39.99. Lego. Ages 7 and up.

Take classic Lego bricks. Add a motor. Result: A climbing monkey and a happy child.

For the tech-loving grade schooler

Eye-Link Communicators

* $29.99. Wild Planet Toys. Ages 6 and up.

The future spy in the family will appreciate these headsets with LCD displays: Type in written messages that only your partner can read.

For the child who can't wait for snow days

SnowBoogie Skeleton

* $29.99. Wham-O. Ages 8 and up.

Snow's a lot more fun when you have this fast, slick plastic board to cruise the slopes -- or at least the front yard.

For the tiny dancer in the family

Gotta Groove

* $19.99. Radica. Ages 4 and up.

A wholesome Barbie game barks out dance moves.

For the child who has everything

Dragons Draigar Castle

$79.99. Mega Bloks. Ages 8 and up.

Every king needs a castle -- with dragons. Zounds.

For the little one on the move

Goofy Giggles Remote Control

* $25. Little Tikes. Age 6-36 months.

A little battery-powered friend for Junior to crawl or toddle with.

For the aspiring collector

Audubon Birds

* $6-$8. Wild Republic. Ages 4 and up.

If junior likes collectibles, here's some he won't find on Saturday morning cartoons -- plush birds, with authentic calls. Choose from birds of prey, tropical birds, state birds and many more.

For the girl who is too hip for Barbie

Bratz Formal Funk Runway Disco

* $99.99. MGA Entertainment. Ages 5 and up.

What doll wouldn't enjoy the chance to visit a combination disco, smoothie bar, makeup counter and fashion runway?

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